Election 2000 Chronology
Election Day. Pollsters have predicted a tight race between Texas governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore, but few expect one of the closest elections in U.S. history.
By the early morning hours of November 8 it is obvious that George W. Bush has won Florida and the presidency. Bush Wins The 1st Time
Al Gore telephones George W to concede at about 3 a.m. EST, only to retract the call about an hour later because Bush's slim margin of victory in Florida triggers an automatic recount. (Bush leads Gore by about 1,210 votes out of nearly 6 million cast in Florida)
November 9 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 1)
Gore campaign chairman William Daley says Gore will seek a hand recount of the approximately 1.8 million ballots cast in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Volusia counties (Democratic strongholds).
November 10 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 2)
Florida's automatic recount is completed. George W. Bush has retained his lead by 327 votes. Bush Wins The 2nd Time
November 11 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 3)
The Bush team, led by former secretary of state James Baker, files suit in federal court to block Gore's request for a hand recount.
November 13 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 5)
Florida secretary of state Katherine Harris announces she will not extend the November 14 deadline for the submission of all state results, excluding absentee ballots from overseas.
A federal judge in Miami rejects Bush's request to halt hand recounts. Bush appeals the decision.
November 14 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 6)
Harris postpones certification of the state's votes until November 15, so Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties have time to prepare an explanation of why they should hand count their ballots.
November 15 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 7)
Harris decides that no county offered adequate evidence to justify further hand recounts.
Florida Supreme Court denies a request from Harris to stop the hand recounts.
Certification is again postponed.
November 16 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 8)
Bush's lawyers present written arguments to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to end the manual recounts.
Gore's lawyers file a counter motion.
November 17 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 9)
Florida Supreme Court prohibits Harris from certifying election results — as she had planned to do November 18 — until further notice.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to block manual recounts in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Local Democrats sue the Seminole County Canvassing Board in state court over disputed absentee ballot applications.
November 18 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 10)
With a tally of absentee ballots, uncertified count has Bush ahead of Gore by 930 votes.
November 21 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 13)
Florida Supreme Court rules that manual recounts may continue in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties and that those votes must be included in the final tally if the counts are completed by November 26, the deadline set by the Court for certifying the election.
November 24 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 16)
U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Bush's appeal on the legality of the Florida Supreme Court's decision to allow recounts and extend state deadline for certification.
November 26 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 18)
Florida secretary of state Katherine Harris certifies election results. George W wins Florida by 537 votes. Bush Wins The 3rd Time
Gore pledges to challenge certification in court.
November 27 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 19)
Gore contests the Florida election results in a Leon County Circuit Court.
November 28 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 20)
Gore and Bush file briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court.
November 29 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 21)
Leon Country Circuit Court Judge Sanders Sauls orders that all ballots from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties be sent to Tallahassee for a hearing on whether the hand count, which was incomplete at the time of the court-ordered November 26 deadline, should be included in the final vote tally.
November 30 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 22)
Florida lawmakers recommend holding a special session to name the state's 25 electors if the election dispute is not resolved by Dec. 12, six days before the electoral college meets.
December 1 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 23)
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether the Florida Supreme Court acted properly when it forced the Florida secretary of state to accept manual recounts submitted after the legal deadline.
The Florida Supreme Court denies Gore's appeal to immediately begin recounting ballots and rejects motion filed by some Palm Beach County citizens who questioned the integrity of the "butterfly ballot."
Gore requests a count of approximately 14,000 "undervotes" from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.
Local Democrats file lawsuit accusing the Martin County Canvassing Board of mishandling absentee ballot applications.
December 2-3 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Days 24-25)
Judge Sauls holds trial on Gore's election challenge.
December 4 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 26)
Judge Sauls rejects Gore's contest of the election results, saying the vice president failed to prove that hand recounts would have altered the results.
Gore appeals to the Florida Supreme Court.
U.S. Supreme Court asks Florida Supreme Court to explain why it ordered Harris to accept results submitted after the November 14 deadline mandated by state law.
December 5 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 27)
U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta holds a hearing on Bush's request to stop manual recounts, which earlier was rejected by the U.S. District Court in Miami.
December 6 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 28)
Separate trials on the Martin and Seminole county absentee ballot cases begin in Leon County Circuit Court.
Florida's legislature calls for special session to consider whether to appoint state's electors.
December 7 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 29)
Florida Supreme Court hears Gore's appeal of Judge Sauls' decision rejecting Gore's election challenge. Trials in Seminole and Martin county cases conclude.
December 8 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 30)
Florida Supreme Court, ruling on Gore's appeal, orders manual recounts to begin.
Bush appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and seeks injunction to stop recounts.
In two separate lawsuits, Leon County Circuit Court judges refuse to throw out any of the 25,000 absentee ballots from Seminole and Martin counties that had been disputed by Gore. Gore's lawyers appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.
The Florida Legislature meets in special session and adjourns with plans to convene again on December 12.
December 9 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 31)
The U.S. Supreme Court votes 5–4 to halt the hand recounts and sets a hearing for December 11.
Florida Supreme Court hears appeal on whether absentee ballots in Martin and Seminole counties should be counted.
December 12 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 33)
Deadline for Florida to certify its 25 electors.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Bush v. Gore 7–2 to reverse the Florida Supreme Court, which had ordered manual recounts in certain counties. The Court contends that the recount was not treating all ballots equally, and was thus a violation of the Constitution's equal protection and due process guarantees. The Supreme Court of Florida would be required to set up new voting standards and carry them out in a recount.
Further, the U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-4 that any subsequent recount must be done by midnight, December 12, the official deadline for certifying electoral college votes.
December 13 (Gore Tries To Steal Election - Day 34)
Florida Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal from Gore asking that absentee ballots from Martin and Seminole counties be thrown out.
Gore finally concedes in a televised speech.
Electoral college representatives meet in state capitals and cast votes to select president.
Congress meets to tally electoral college results.
George W. Bush sworn in as 43rd President of the United States.